Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cold Brew Thai Tea or Coffee {and simple syrup} Recipe

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I love Thai iced tea! We hardly ever eat out, but when we have the treat of going out for Thai food I always get one. It goes perfectly with spicy food because of how sweet + creamy it is. I've always wanted to recreate this treat on my own but never found a tutorial easy enough for what I wanted. I didn't want to have to buy all the individual spices and prepare them, I wanted something in tea bag form or as close to it as possible.

A couple weeks ago I was browsing blogs in my feedly when I came across a recipe for blended Thai iced tea. The recommended a loose leaf Thai tea that I could order from Amazon, I had to have it! Ben ordered it for me and when it came I brewed it per the instructions as best I could. I brewed it hot at first and strained it through a coffee filter, then I tried making my own tea bags which worked great but was too time consuming for the amount of tea I wanted. Next I tried cold brew, which is how I make iced coffee at home. There are plenty of methods for cold brewing from what containers you use to how you filter it. I tend to use what I have on hand whenever possible, which is how I came up
with this method a couple years ago.

Cold Brewed Thai Tea, or Coffee 
(this will make a small batch, 2-3 servings)

What you'll need:
  • 1 large glass jar with lid
  • loose leaf tea or ground coffee
  • large container to filter the tea/coffee into (preferably with a spout)
  • mesh strainer++
  • a coffee filter++ (I use paper, but you could probably get the same results with reusable)
  • time + patience
Cold brew is a plan-ahead drink as it needs more time to "brew" 4 hours at least to overnight. I've never tried drinking it as soon as 4 hours though, I've always let it sit at least overnight. 

1st measure out your tea or coffee into your glass jar. About 4 tsp/cup for the Thai tea, use the same ratios you use for hot coffee for iced (I never measure, just pour). 

2nd Fill the rest of the jar with filtered water, add lid, turn over to mix and place in fridge for 4-8 hours. 

3rd- the next day pull your chilled jar out of the fridge to strain. Place the mesh strainer over your bowl and add the coffee filter. Pour the tea/coffee in slowly and let it drip into the bowl until you've filtered it all. 

4th. add 4 ice cubes to a tall glass, for Thai tea I put in a generous amount (probably 3 tablespoons) of homemade simple syrup (recipe below), you can easily add it to your liking at the end. Then I pour in 1/4 cup of half + half and fill the rest of the way with the tea. Less half and half for coffee. Cold brew is MUCH less bitter so if you aren't into super sweet drinks, you may not need sugar at all!

5th Rinse out your jar and place the excess back in the fridge for drink #2 or even 3.

++I've even made cold brew in our french press by pouring it into the press when it was done brewing in the fridge. This is helpful if you don't have a mesh strainer or coffee filters. I have not tried this method with tea yet, but now I might!

Homemade Simple Syrup, liquid sweetener

This is super easy, like whoa. It's even easier if you have a hot water dispenser. Most of you may already know how to do this but I'm adding it for those that may ask if I were to leave it out!...

What you'll need:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
heat proof bowl (I use my pyrex measuring cup)
glass bottle 

This can be made at any ratio I just make it 2 cups at a time. As long as you make it 1:1 with the sugar and water it'll work fine. 

1st heat the water to just boiling (not necessary if you have a hot water dispenser, yay!)

2nd add the sugar to your heat proof bowl

3rd stir the hot water into the sugar continuously until clear, not cloudy. 

4th. Let mixture cool to room temperature. 

5th funnel into a bottle or jar of your choice (I reused a Torani syrup bottle)

Tah-dah! So easy and so nice for iced drinks. Enjoy!

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